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Winter Break programs kick off restart of global opportunities for OHIO students

Published: September 23, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University restarts its global programming with faculty-led winter break programs in Italy, Spain and Belize, followed by spring and summer opportunities in a number of countries around the world.

"We are thrilled to be able to offer OHIO students the opportunity to travel internationally again. A study abroad or international internship opportunity is a phenomenal way to bring your studies and career goals into sharper focus," said Keely Davin, associate director of the Office of Global Opportunities. 

"Study abroad coursework tends to be very hands-on and experiential by taking advantage of site visits to local landmarks, museums and businesses or guest lectures from local experts in a field. Students have the opportunity to build their own professional network all around the globe while diving deeper into their studies,” Davin added. “International internships allow students to build their resume working in an intercultural and diverse workplace while also gaining industry-specific work experience."

OHIO offers three types of study abroad and study away opportunities — faculty-led programs for OHIO credit, as well as exchange programs with partner universities and opportunities with affiliated programs that provide transfer credit. Doctoral students in physical therapy and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine also can apply for global health rotations.

"We are lucky to have such a wealth of talented and dedicated faculty and staff who offer valuable and engaging international programming. OHIO credit programs remain the most popular of all international travel options because they incorporate the academic quality of OHIO coursework while easily fitting into student degree plans," said Catherine Marshall, director of OGO. 

Watch for more programs, destinations to open

The OGO program list is still fluid as conditions change locally and abroad, and advisers will help students navigate the program menu, the application process, and other requirements for international travel.

"We are working within the current COVID-19 realities to offer OHIO students an opportunity to travel internationally. Our goal is to ensure that they are as prepared as possible for the experience and that we as a university have done our due diligence to mitigate risks to the extent possible," said Kirsten Dabelko, assistant director of Global Security, Health and Safety in OGO.

Programs with imminent application deadlines include Italy: Tuscan Travel Learn and the College of Business Global Consulting Program as well as destinations with various affiliates and exchange partners.

Since programs will be reviewed and applications opened on an ongoing basis, students are encouraged to watch the Office of Global Opportunities (OGO) website, social media and application portal for programs to come online and application deadlines to be announced.

To Italy, Spain and Belize over Winter Break

Dr. Molly Morrison will lead the first OHIO credit study abroad program since the COVID-19 pandemic, taking students to Florence, capital of Italy's Tuscany region, over winter break.

Morrison's summer Italian in Florence study abroad program launched in 2009 and marked its 10th anniversary in 2019, just before COVID. Morrison said she created the winter break program, Italy: Tuscan Travel Learn, because students are eager to resume their language and culture studies.

"During COVID I decided I wanted to think positively about the future rather than bemoan the fact that we weren’t going anywhere. Things have changed. Things are different. So let’s get out there, safely, and experience things again,” said Morrison, associate professor of Italian in the Modern Languages Department at OHIO. “Let’s try to navigate within what’s new. So I decided to create a new winter Italy program."

Both Italian in Florence and Tuscan Travel Learn are based in Florence.

"Florence is culturally rich, fascinating, and beautiful. It is an ideal place to study, learn, and enjoy all aspects of Italian beauty – from art, food, history, style, and fashion. It's a very tranquil part of the year to be experiencing some of the culture and Renaissance art that defines the Tuscany region," Morrison said. "We'll be based in Florence, and we're hoping to take day trips to San Gimignano and Monteriggioni, Pisa and Lucca, Siena; Volterra, Pistoia and Prato and Chianti."

Morrison that this a great opportunity for all students with no previous language experience required. Students will earn four credits for Italian 4900/2900: Special Topics, and the experience is Dec. 11-23. The application deadline is Oct. 3 for Italy: Tuscan Travel Learn.

Two additional winter break programs offer OHIO credit.

Students already have applied for Spain: Screenwriting and Documentary Storytelling, where they will travel with Professor Frederick Lewis to southern Spain to research and write documentary scripts that focus on subject matter in and around the city of Seville. They will gain international producing experience as they develop topics and conduct interviews with the local citizenry.

Applications are expected to open soon for Belize: Culture and Classroom, a one-week program in San Narciso, Belize, led by Laura Wentworth. Students will work in partnership with a master teacher and faculty supervisor to gain an understanding of common struggles within a high-risk classroom.

In OHIO credit programs, students earn OHIO credit, travel with an OHIO faculty or staff member, and travel and take courses with other OHIO students. A student's full financial aid package applies the same as it would for on-campus courses.

The next term available for OHIO credit programming is summer 2022. Summer programs will be reviewed and will open applications on an ongoing basis, and students should watch the OGO website for updates.

Summer 2022 global consulting with international businesses

Applications are being accepted now for one of the summer 2022 Ohio credit programs — the College of Business Global Consulting Program, which in 2018 sent 150 students abroad to consult on projects for real companies. The current deadline is Sept. 27 but watch for a deadline extension.

Students in a Global Consulting Program.
Students in a Global Consulting Program in 2016 check out the sights on a chateau in Cote d'Or in Burgundy, France.

The College of Business Global Consulting Program, coordinated by Associate Professor Vic Matta, prepares students for the challenges of the global business environment by giving them opportunities to work in a cross-cultural consulting team to solve authentic business problems abroad. Locations currently on the docket include Ghent, Belgium; Dijon, France; Bayreuth, Germany; Thessaloniki, Greece; and Ancona, Italy, and more may be added. Travel to most sites takes place in May.

The program is open to first-years, sophomores and juniors, or students graduating in December 2022 or later. The students also enroll in a three-credit international business course in spring 2022 and can earn a total of nine credits for the program. Matta noted that students should save time in their spring schedule for the course, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:05 to 4:25 p.m.

"Although this is called a 'study' abroad program, students don’t study, they work. The 'work' abroad gets students to experience culturally how international businesses function,” Matta said. “Experiencing culture is far richer than reading about it or watching a movie. Working with international students, understanding their constraints, preferences and priorities helps students put their own values into a perspective. It is an enriching experience, and helps prepare them to be sensitive, considerate, and more mature citizens of the world.

"The program is intense. They work furiously during the work hours with challenging deadlines,” Matta added. “In the evenings and weekends, they socialize with their host country friends: learn their way of life, exchange cooking experiences, go sight-seeing to nearby places – and make lifelong friends. Seeing students go through this transformation is rewarding.”

Exchange programs with other universities

Students interested in semester or year-long study in Europe or Asia can participate in exchange programs at partner universities. While some of the Asian programs are not yet open, several students have already applied for spring 2022 exchange with University of Southern Denmark, the Danish School of Media and Journalism, and Hong Kong Baptist University.

Additionally, students have applied for the Swansea University exchange in Wales (UK) and Leipzig University in Germany. Both applications close Oct. 1, so there is still time to apply.

Exchange applications for study in summer or fall 2023 will open soon. Application deadlines vary.

"Exchange programs allow OHIO students the opportunity to become part of a larger story — that of the history and relationship between two institutions. We have exchange partnerships that are decades old and still continuing to foster intercultural understanding at home and abroad," said Ji-Yeung Jang, interim executive director for global affairs. 

"OHIO students relish the opportunity to become fully immersed in a local community and host institution just as our partner students can enjoy being embedded in the fabric of student life in Athens," she added.

Exchange programs offer transfer credit and are attractive to students interested in meeting and living with other international students from various countries and students with budgetary constraints. Some exchange partners have summer options available, while all have fall and spring semester opportunities.   

Affiliate and third-party provider programs

Students interested in a location or field of study not offered by OHIO credit or exchange programs might find a program or destination that fits their interests from a third-party provider or affiliate program.

OHIO works with seven very well-established and reputable organizations as affiliates. Students can use approved financial aid support with these affiliate providers, and credits are transferred from accredited foreign institutions or their domestic institutions of record. Courses are offered fall, spring and summer. 

"These programs tend to offer a wide variety of coursework since they tap into courses offered at foreign institutions and recruit participants from all over the United States. Most of these organizations offer international internship programs as well as study abroad," Davin said. “Most of these organizations have opened at least select locations where they have a proven track record for success during the current pandemic. New locations are being offered as time passes, and availability is heavily dependent on entry requirements of the host country. Most partner organizations are requiring the COVID vaccine to participate due to local regulations.”

How to plan for travel: talk to OGO advisers

“Students planning an international program right now will have to do so with plenty of flexibility,” Dabelko said. “The information available to us is constantly changing week after week. Entry requirements that you research today could be different in a few months. Research and adaptability are the keys to successfully planning and participating in programs abroad at this time.”

Students traveling internationally must seek approval through the Study Away Risk Assessment Committee process managed by the Office of Global Opportunities. This includes student international travel for all independent, University-affiliated experiences such as internships, research, exchange, volunteer, clinicals, work, trainings, and conferences. It is recommended that travelers submit their travel requests no later than three months prior to travel.

“Students interested in studying abroad should chat with an OGO adviser about their options and timelines,” Davin said. “There are different procedures and considerations based on the type of program a student pursues. Our team of peer advisers can walk through those considerations and help make a plan for next steps.”

OGO offers virtual and face-to-face advising this semester. Virtual advising is available as same day drop-in sessions or by booking in advance. Face-to-face appointments are available when scheduled at least one day in advance. Both virtual and face to face appointments can be scheduled via bookings. For questions about booking with a specific adviser, you can contact global.opportunities@ohio.edu.